Mist rolling off cold canals, drifting up through the rigging of moored ships held fast near the colorful stone and brick eighteenth century buildings of Nyhavn. I, sitting at a table with a cold ale in my hand, my lovely wife warm under a provided wool blanket, and the rich smell of fish and chips wafting in on us as we watch the sun set over this old city of Europe. This is Copenhagen…of my imagination. This blog is about a FAMILY trip to Copenhagen!
In this blog, each member of the family has responded to three prompts: 1) What were your favorite things about Copenhagen? 2) What tip would you give to someone traveling to Copenhagen? 3) What was your least favorite thing about Copenhagen? Each member of the family will have their own section; but before that, I will provide a slightly more objective run through of what our trip consisted of.
Day 1: Skopje to Copenhagen
Skopje to Copenhagen via WizzAir, a budget airline out of Hungry that offers all you would expect a budget airline to offer. Arrival at 3:30pm, hop the Metro to Kongens Nytorv in the heart of the city. Barely survived the navigation from the Metro stop to the Generator Hostel. (K felt he was near death multiple times due to the overabundance of fast moving bicyclists.) A little walk down at Nyhavn, dinner at WokOn, and cartoons back in our private family room (2 bunk beds, a queen for the parents, and rooftop views).
Day 2: Aquarium and Sightseeing
Breakfast at Espresso House, lesson learned: buy breakfast items from a grocery store and not a café/restaurant (very pricey and all left hungry); but great opportunity to watch the morning bicycle commute. Walk to Metro and catch a train to Malmo, Sweden, which was quiet and quant and Max Burgers was better in our memories. Train back and stop at the Copenhagen Airport for the easy 20 minute walk to the Blu Planet Aquarium. Great design and overall experience! Back on the train to get back to Nyhavn for good lighting at sunset for our family’s quest for the perfect shot of the iconic canal. Got waylaid by ice-cream and churros!! Dinner bought at a grocery store and enjoyed back in our room as the kids watched a movie on the iPad.
Day 3: Hotel Transition and Jason Mraz
Long walk from one hotel to the other, weaving our way through the pedestrian only section of the city heart, always on the search for a toy phone for M whom was quite jealous of the one K chose to bring with him. Three toy shops with no luck, and then having to walk nearly completely around Tivoli (one of the oldest amusement parks in Europe) which was closed for the season was complete torture for our youngest. Check in at the Tivoli Hotel and Congress Center, a nice long soak in the pool, followed by a stunning rooftop dining experience at Sticks’n’Sushi. Back on the metro to make our way to the Jason Mraz concert.
Day 4: The Experimentarium
Breakfast again from local grocery store, leisurely exit full of cartoons due to the availability of Nick Jr and Disney XD. Bus ride through the city to the Experimentarium…a wonderful visit for all involved! Bus back in and trek into the old meat packing district to find Warpigs, an American style BBQ place with tons on tap and more cuts of meat than we knew what to do with. Return to our hotel, which had suffered a kitchen fire while we were away resulting in an UPGRADE to a much swankier room, which was well enjoyed by all.
Day 5: Copenhagen to Skopje
Slow cartoon morning (who knew they have upgraded Ducktails?) and then off to the train to catch our budget flight back to Skopje.
Now for the family reviews…
K’s Copenhagen Review: (K is 9 years old)
Favorite Things – I liked the Experimentarium and I liked SticksnSushi. I liked the ice cream and churros. I liked the hotel room with two floors (upgrade) and I liked the pool at the Tivoli Hotel. I loved the aquarium because it was huge and fancy.
Tip – Go to the Brainwave battle aka telekinesis challenge at the Experimentarium. At Warpigs, it was very yummy but most of the seats were taken. Try to go at a good time to get seats otherwise you will be sitting outside in the cold. 5pm on Friday is not a good time.
Least Favorite Thing – The airplane ride going to Copenhagen because I got a headache and airplanes are boring. Also, I didn’t like walking around in the cold.
M’s Copenhagen Review: (M is 7 years old)
Favorite Things – The pool at Tivoli Hotel was warm and I could touch the floor so I liked it. I liked the cartoons on the television at the hotel. At Warpigs, they had good food and I really liked their music (heavy industrial metal). I liked the Experimentarium, I liked the life room (Tunnel of Senses) because I could feel my way, see my way, and smell my way through the rooms. And the whole exercise thing with the family. That’s all. Also, I liked Cheerios (churros) with ice cream.
Tip: Try to go to the pool when there are less people around 1 o’clock in the afternoon.
Least Favorite Thing – Was when there were people in the pool when I wanted to go and when I had to sit around before the concert.
Mamma S’ Copenhagen Review:
Favorite Things – The Jason Mraz concert with the whole family because I love his music (his music is especially about love says M). The aquarium, the design of the building was beautiful and it allowed the kids to run around and see the aquatic life, the shrimp cleaning my hand from the blisters formed when bouldering in Skopje.
Tip – Use public transportation. Buy breakfast at local grocery stores such as Nettos, Aldi’s, and the Coop. If you are going to go to an expensive activity consider buying the Copenhagen Card.
Least Favorite – Walking the city streets with kids, K thought he was going to be killed by bicyclists and M was always complaining about being cold, Daddy D kept yelling at the kids to be more observant of their surroundings.
Daddy D’s Copenhagen Review:
Favorite Things: Surrounding myself in the brick, stone, and glass environment of the historical harbor city. The transition from water to land, from ropes of the sea to the bricks and oxidized ornamentation of the city. My favorite thing was the Experimentarium, the family challenges that we had to complete, the shadow and light experience. Overall the architecture of the city, the helix of the copper staircase of the Experimentarium and the architecture of the big and small appealed to me.
Tip: Be willing to take a risk by staying at a hostel. As a family we would have not typically stayed at a hostel; instead we tried the hostel for two nights and it was wonderfully located and gave us a different experience than staying at a family friendly hotel.
Least Favorite Thing: Balancing and/or adjusting to what it means to be a family visiting a city. Balancing my own selfish needs and wants of what a Copenhagen experience should be (see opening paragraph) with balancing out what my kids want and need of a city escape. This creates a frustrating dichotomy.